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Borough Market Visitor Guide

In this post we’re exploring Borough Market. This food market is one of London’s oldest and most famous, and it’s bursting with a variety of delicious, fresh and ethically-sourced foods and goods. This market should be on on every London visitor’s itinerary at least once, and we’re going to help you plan the perfect visit. We’ll start with some of the basics of the market, then we’ll dive into some of the best things to eat before we wrap up with some planning suggestions.

In this Post

Here’s what we’re covering in this post. We invite you to read the full guide or jump ahead to the section you’re most interested in.

The Basics

In this section we’ll introduce you to Borough Market and the essential things you need to know for your visit.

What is Borough Market

Borough Market is a food market in London that’s been around in some form for over 1,000 years. It started as a fruit and vegetable wholesale market, but since the 1990s has served the community as a sustainable food hall. Today, Borough Market is part farmer’s market, part street food hall and part artisan market.

You will find everything from fresh produce and homemade bread, to flowers and natural skincare, to street food from all around the world. Whether you’re looking for a prepared meal to enjoy at the market or fresh food staples to fill your Airbnb pantry, you will find something delicious at Borough Market.

The market is separated into three main sections.

Three Crown Square is generally considered the main market area. Here you’ll find the largest stalls and booths selling produce, homemade bakery items, meats and seafood, and some freshly prepared meals. Cross over into Green Market and you’ll discover smaller, more specialized vendors. Finally, Borough Market Kitchen is where you’ll find a collection of food trucks and street food vendors serving up delicious foods from all over the world.

Borough Market is proudly about more than just feeding appetites. Everything at the market is ethically sourced with a strong commitment to sustainability (environmental, social and economic), animal welfare and diversity. The market is run by a charitable trust whose main goal is community betterment.

While all of this sounds a bit fluffy, the gist is that Borough Market is a non-profit that is trying to provide good food that’s good for people and the community.

Where is Borough Market

Borough Market is located in London’s Southbank area near the south side of London Bridge between Tate modern and the Shard. The exact address is 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, United Kingdom.

How to get to Borough Market

It’s easy to get to Borough Market from most anywhere in Central London via public transportation. The market is closest to the London Bridge station which serves the Jubilee and Northern Underground train lines.

Alternatively, you can take the Circle or District lines to Monument station and then walk 10 mins (0.5 miles) across the London Bridge to get to Borough Market. London Bridge itself is nothing to write home about, but the walk will give you a lovely view of the iconic Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast.

TIP: If you’re new to public transit in London, we have an entire guide to riding the London Underground!

You can also get to Borough Market by bus. The closest bus stops are on Southwark Street, Borough High Street and London Bridge. You’ll want to check Google Maps for your exact bus route.

If you’re coming from Big Ben or the London Eye, you can also walk to Borough Market. It’s a long walk (1.5-ish miles depending on where you’re starting from), but you can follow the Queen’s Walk along the Thames waterfront, which is quite lovely. You’ll pass through the bustling riverfront area, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe along the way.

What days is Borough Market open

Borough Market is open every day of the week, including Sundays. Not all vendors are open at the market every day, but there is always a wide variety of open vendors.

What time is Borough Market open

  • Monday through Friday: 10 AM – 5 PM
  • Saturday: 8 AM – 5 PM
  • Sunday: 10 AM -3 PM

Is Borough Market open in bad weather

Yes! Borough Market is fully covered so it is open come rain or shine.

Are there bathrooms at Borough Market

Yes, there are free public toilets at Borough Market located in each of the three main areas. Bathrooms are open during market hours.

Is there seating at Borough Market

Seating is very limited at Borough Market. If you’re planning on picking up street food from a vendor or food truck, you should expect to eat at a standing table at best. There is some bleacher seating in the Borough Market Kitchen area and some booths have picnic tables, but they fill up quickly.

If you are looking for sit-down dining, consider one of the restaurants in the area around borough market like Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House or Padella.

What to eat

There is so much to taste at Borough Market! You could try something different on every visit and never work your way through everything. To get you started, we’ve curated some of the best things and places to eat at Borough Market.

Most popular places to eat at Borough Market

  • Furness Fish Market: The Paella at this market staple is a crowd favorite. You can’t miss the giant vats of Paella and long lines that signal you’ve arrived at this hot spot.
  • Kappacasein: People have very strong feelings that the cheese toastie served at this cheese shop might be the best in the London, and possibly the entire world.
  • Porteña: Borough Market is not short on street food options, but this Argentine spot is a good pick. If you’re planning on tasting around the market, an empanada or two from is a perfectly sized portion.
  • The Black Pig: If you’re craving a good sandwich at lunchtime, look no further! Their most famous sandwich comes filled with pork shoulder, honey truffle mayo, fennel apple slaw and parmesan.
  • Gourmet Goat: This mediterranean spot has a full menu, but we’d suggest picking up a wrap filled with goat, halloumi or chicken. It’s the perfect place for an easy walking meal since seating is limited in the market.

Best things for kids to eat at Borough Market

  • Turnips: This produce stand in the center of Three Crown Square offers an array of produce, including delicious fresh fruit juices. The watermelon juice was a perfect healthy and delicious treat for our little one.
  • Greedy Goat: Another treat you can feel good about giving to your little ones is goat’s milk ice cream. It is lower in fat and calories than traditional ice cream but just as delicious.
  • Bread Ahead: A trip to the market isn’t complete without at least one bakery treat. Little ones and their grown ups will love to indulge in anything from this stand, but we suggest trying the donuts.

Going to London with kids? We have an entire guide filled with the best tips and things to do in London with kids!

Best things for vegetarians to eat at Borough Market

  • Pieminister: Savory pies are a British staple that are often filled with Beef and Chicken, but this stall also serves them up a selection of vegetarian and vegan fillings.
  • La Tua Pasta: While pasta is not the most exciting vegetarian option, this is some of the best pasta there is. I go out of my way to get their pumpkin ravioli every time I visit.
  • Gujarati Rasoi or Horn Ok Please: Both of these spots come highly rated and serve up vegetarian Indian street food. Horn Ok Please features cuisine from around India while Gujarati Rasoi focuses on the Gujarati region.
  • Shuk: Vegetarians sick of eating falafel pitas will be happy to find a unique vegetarian option at this Israeli street food spot. Their vegetarian pita is filled with roasted eggplant, hardboiled egg, pickled cucumber and a collection of flavorful sauces and herbs.
  • Gourmet Goat: This is one of the best booths in the market, so it’s great that vegetarians can indulge here, too. They offer both a vegetarian halloumi wrap (our favorite!) and a vegan wrap stuffed with hummus and veggies.

Can’t-miss drinks at Borough Market

  • The Cider House: This shop is good anytime of year, but it is absolutely essential in the fall! They offer a tasty collection of hard cider which you can drink there or take home by the bottle. The also have alcohol-free hot mulled cider which is true perfection on a cold London day.
  • Change Please: Power your shopping with caffeine and do some good while you’re at it. Change Please employs and trains unhoused people to work as baristas at their stands. They also source locally roasted coffee, so it’s truly a win-win.
  • Utobeer: Craft beer drinkers will marvel at the curated selection at Utobeer. There’s no place to enjoy your drinks in the shop, but you can drink your beer as you wander the market or take it home with you. A popular “hack” is to grab a beer from Utobeer to drink while you wait in line at nearby Furness Food Hut for Paella.

Things to do at the market and beyond

Borough Market is filled with things to see, food to try and people to watch. Some people could do this all day, while others might be looking for more to do. Here’s a few ways to fill up a perfect day with Borough Market as your centerpiece.

What to do at Borough Market

As I mentioned before, Borough Market is a mix of farmers market, street food fest and artisan market. That should give you a sense of the three main things to do there.

The first thing you can do at Borough Market is eat. There is an entire section of the market dedicated to street food carts serving up cuisines from every corner of the world. Don’t stop there, though. Scattered throughout the entire market are vendors serving up prepared food and meals that you can enjoy right at the market. Definitely plan to eat at least one meal and probably some snacks at Borough Market.

You can also fill your picnic basket and fridge like you would at a Farmer’s Market. There are stands selling fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood and meats. There’s bakery stands with homemade breads, rolls and sweets, and so many cheese shops with local and freshly made specialty cheeses (even some vegan cheese). You’ll find fresh flowers, local honey and jared goods like condiments and sauces. Put some of these items together and you can pack a mean picnic for Hyde Park later in the day.

And lastly, you can shop for non-food items. No farmer’s market is complete without fresh flowers or maybe you want to pick up a reusable tote to fill with all of your market goodies.

Within the actual market, these are the main activities: eat, shop food items and shop non-food items.

Things to do near Borough Market

Borough Market is located in the Southbank area of Central London. There is so much to see and do in the area, and you have so many ways to build a great itinerary that includes Borough Market. Here are some of our favorite things to do within a mile of Borough Market.

  • Get the best view of London from the top of The Shard 
  • Walk across London Bridge for a great view of Tower Bridge
  • Board the historic WWII warship HMS Belfast
  • Walk over to Tate Modern and enjoy the street performers along the Thames
  • Cross the pedestrian-only Millennium Bridge and onward to St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Follow the Thames to Tower Bridge and then cross over it to the Tower of London or St. Katherine Docks Marina

A perfect London day

There are so many ways to build a great itinerary around Borough Market. If it were us, our day would look something like this.

  • Start the day at Borough Market shortly after it opens (9 or 10 ish, depending on the day)
  • Grab a coffee from Change Please or Flat Cap Coffee
  • Explore (aka eat) around the market, maybe getting pumpkin ravioli from La Tua Pasta or an empanada from Porteña, and definitely a tasty treat from Bread Ahead
  • Start the journey west along the Queen’s Walk, a pedestrian walkway that mostly follows the south bank of the Thames between Lambeth Bridge to Tower Bridge
  • Take a break on the grass on the bank side of Tate Modern to watch the street performers
  • Continue along the Queen’s Walk past Waterloo Bridge, passing food trucks, street performers, pubs and even a skate park along the way
  • Grab truffle fries from Truffle Burger under Hungerford Bridge, a beer from the pub stand next door and let the little one take a spin on the Golden Carousel
  • Take a walk through Jubilee Garden and let the little one play one on one of the best playgrounds in the city
  • Go for a spin on the London Eye (P.S. Be sure to check out our separate guide to the London Eye for some more info and tips.)
  • Cross over Westminster Bridge, maybe challenge a street hustler in one of their games or just take in the best view of Big Ben
  • Wrap up the day with a British meal from a pub nearby, maybe sausage and mash from St Stephen’s Tavern or fish & chips from The Red Lion
  • Power through a bit longer to get to St. James’s Park and indulge on some ice cream or a Nutella waffle for dessert

Plan Your Visit

Borough Market is open every day. If you have a trip planned, there’s really no bad time to visit Borough Market. However, if you’re just starting the planning process and trying to decide when to visit, we have a few suggestions.

Best days to visit Borough Market

Saturday and Sunday. It’s definitely more crowded on weekends than during the week, but that’s part of what makes it fun. The energy and people make the market come alive.

Best time to visit Borough Market

If you want to enjoy the lively market but don’t necessarily like waiting in long queues, come right when the market opens. Make some of your more popular purchases early when the lines are short. Then do your wandering and less popular snack purchases when the market picks up.

Best season to visit Borough Market

The fall is the absolute best time to visit Borough Market. I’m partial to autumn for all things, but if you ask me, there’s truly no better time to visit a farmer’s market than in the fall.

Picture this … you’re wearing a cozy flannel. Maybe it’s a bit drizzly out, but you stay dry in the covered market. The stalls are selling seasonal produce like apples and pumpkins, and the bakery stands fill the air with the smell of cinnamon and cloves. You get pumpkin ravioli from La Tua Pasta and a hard apple cider from The Cider house. Everything is right in the world.

See? Fall makes everything better.

How long do you need to spend at Borough Market

This is tough and can really vary. If you aren’t hungry and don’t want to buy anything to take with you, you could probably take a lap around Borough Market in about 30 minutes. To make the most of your visit though, we suggest spending about 1-2 hours at Borough Market.

This gives you enough time to slowly wander through the market, check out all of the stands, and enjoy a meal or a few snacks.

Is Borough Market worth visiting

Yes. One hundred times yes. It’s one of the best things to do in London and one of my personal favorites. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon activity or just a great meal, it’s a great additional to your itinerary.

Not only is it fun and delicious, but it’s centrally located and doesn’t take up that much time (if you don’t want it to). There’s really no reason not to spend some amount of time at the market.

Closing Thoughts

As you might have noticed from this love letter, I’m a huge fan of Borough Market. I can’t come to London and not spend at least one morning here. The sights, the smells and the foods just conger up that feeling of home to me.

I know a lot of people are big fans of Camden Market, too. We recently took a canal boat ride from Little Venice to Camden Market for the first time. And while that market is great for many reasons, no market in London compares to Borough Market in my opinion.

London was part of one of my very first international trips, and the city holds such a special place in my heart. After visiting almost 100 cities around the world, London remains one of my top five favorite cities. Places like Borough Market that are bursting with energy and character and flavor, are the reason why I keep coming back to this city.

I hope you enjoy Borough Market as much as I do! So tell me — if you’ve been to Borough Market, what’s your favorite booth!? What should I eat next? I’d love to hear in the comments!